Di Salvatore Quasimodo

Natale. Guardo il presepe scolpito,
dove sono i pastori appena giunti
alla povera stalla di Betlemme.
Anche i Re Magi nelle lunghe vesti
salutano il potente Re del mondo.
Pace nella finzione e nel silenzio
delle figure di legno: ecco i vecchi
del villaggio e la stella che risplende,
e l’asinello di colore azzurro.
Pace nel cuore di Cristo in eterno;
ma non v’è pace nel cuore dell’uomo.
Anche con Cristo e sono venti secoli
il fratello si scaglia sul fratello.
Ma c’è chi ascolta il pianto del bambino
che morirà poi in croce fra due ladri?





By Salvatore Quasimodo

Christmas. I look at the sculpted nativity,
where the shepherds have just reached
the poor manger in Bethlehem.
And the three Wise Men in their long gowns
greet the mighty King of the world.
Peace in the fiction and the silence
of the wooden figures: here are the town
elders and the shining star,
and the light blue donkey.
Peace in the heart of Christ for eternity;
but there is no peace in the heart of man.
Notwithstanding Christ for twenty centuries
brother has been fighting his brother.
But is anyone listening to the cries of the child
who will die on the cross between two thieves?

Translation by ©Matilda Colarossi


Salvatore Quasimodo was an Italian author and poet. In 1959 he won the Nobel Prize for Literature “for his lyrical poetry, which with classical fire expresses the tragic experience of life in our own times”.  He was one of the foremost Italian poets of the 20th century.
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